Postal Worker 'Did What He Had To Do' In Bank Robbery Shooting

Doctors: Robert Norman Lucky To Be Alive

A postal worker who was shot in the face after encountering a bank robber Thursday spoke Saturday about the harrowing ordeal.

Robert Norman, 54, has worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years, but he will spend the next six to eight weeks recovering from the wound, 6News' Sarah Cornell reported.

Norman and his doctors said he is very fortunate that the bullet struck right below his right eye.

"God protected me. I could have died," Norman said.

Norman was inside a Wanamaker Chase Bank, in the 8800 block of Southeastern Avenue, to get some spending money for lunch when Brook Abebe, 43, came in with two guns and demanded money, police said.

Police said Abebe was given cash and ran out of the bank, with Norman behind him.

"I went around the corner, and we were face-to-face. He was in my face," Norman said. "He was bringing the gun up, and I grabbed the pistol with my hand and he shot me in the face."

Norman was rushed to a hospital, and police caught Abebe after he crashed his car.

It wasn't the only out-of-the ordinary incident involving Norman. Earlier that same day, he noticed mail piling up at a house on his route. When police searched that home, they found the owner dead. She had been there for months.

Brook Abebe

Norman said that as a postal worker, it's his duty to look out for patrons and report illegal activity.

As he recovers at Methodist Hospital from a broken jaw, damaged eye socket and shattered cheekbone, Norman said he has no regrets.

"This was nothing to do with being a hero. I did what I had to do, and I'm just blessed that I survived," he said.

Abebe was being held Saturday in the Marion County Jail. He is being charged in the shooting of Norman and the bank robbery.

Police said Abebe is a convicted felon and is in the country illegally. According to investigators, Abebe stole the gun used in the robbery and confessed to the crime.